Times have changed and businesses are adapting. Remote working is no longer the exception, it is, at least for now, the rule. For those new to the remote work lifestyle (or those just looking for a refresher), here are some tips to keep you focused and productive no matter where you work in the world.
Dress The Way You Would At Work
Rolling out of bed and doing work in your PJs sounds like a dream come true! But getting ready for the day as if you were to head into work will put you more in a work mindset mode.
Wearing work attire (or at least a nice shirt) will also keep you more focused and professional should you use virtual video meetings to communicate.
And when the day is over, feel free to hop back into whatever you would normally wear after a long day at work.
Create A Dedicated Working Space
Whether you are an organized person in the workplace or not, try to keep the area where you work tidy and clean.
Not only will this keep you looking professional should you ever be in a video conference where your coworkers can see inside the place you are working, you’ll also be able to not mix up your personal items from your work environment.
Speaking of your coworkers seeing you. If having a video meeting, the attention should be on you and not on your background. So, make sure you go into a certain room that has no visual background distractions.
Also, if you can separate your work area from other areas of your home, that will allow you to create a switch off between work and your personal life.
That is, separate environments will allow you to stop over-working for the day and be able to separate time spent between work from your personal life.
If you are unable to create a dedicated working area, such as using the kitchen table, at least keep the kitchen table clear and set boundaries with yourself and anyone else you live with so you can reserve that space for a period of time dedicated to work.
Communication is one of the most important collaboration traits of working remotely according to Harvard Business Review.
If not already doing so, aim to have a daily chat with every member on the team or a video call where you can share what you’ve been up to for the past day and what you plan to do the rest of the day.
You can also use this time to mention any concerns you have or if you just need help in trying to solve a problem.
While it is important to keep most of the meetings work related, it does not hurt to go off topic and talk about things as if you were chatting in front of the water cooler.
Such conversations add personality and make work more enjoyable while reducing complicated matters that may exist.
Use The Same Communication Tools
You will likely need to have the right technology and equipment to set yourself up for remote success. Most likely you will need a computer with an internet connection so you can browse the internet, check and reply to emails, attend virtual meetings, and instant message with your colleagues.
Remember to keep it simple. No need to download several different tools to communicate with different individuals. Try to come to an agreement and choose just one tool so that it is easier for everyone to consistently communicate with each other.
For example, instead of using Google Chat for one member of your team and Microsoft Teams for another member or Slack for another member, come to a mutual agreement where everyone uses the same chat tool.
And when things get tough or it is taking too long to get your point across, just pick up the phone and have a quick conversation so that everyone can get back to being the most productive.
Get Some Fresh Air
This may not seem at all important, but it really is necessary to step outside and get some fresh air.
Open the window or go for a walk just be sure to get some fresh air so you can take a break from your work environment. This will allow you to destress, stay mentally sharp, and help clear your head especially if you stay cooped up indoors for a long period of time.
Focus On The Task At Hand
It may be tempting to hop on to social media, read the news, or even play a game while on the clock. But it is important to not take advantage as you should consider the ability to work remote as a fortunate privilege.
Remember, not everyone has the privilege of working from home so do not abuse it. Plus, if you get caught, you may take away this privilege from other members of your team too and your colleagues will likely not think well of you. You may also face repercussions from your manager.
Instead, use your break time or after work time to do whatever personal things you choose to do or even allot yourself with a few minutes of “reward time” after you accomplish a difficult project. Just remember to budget your time effectively and as always with respect to the rest of your team and organization.
While goal settings should be something you practice regardless of working remote, setting goals helps boost morale and gives you purpose. If you can achieve such goals, you will have a feeling of accomplishment which translates in to good, positive vibes.
Think of it as a virtual high five or virtual pat on the back!
You may want to break your goals up in to hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly goals. Start with the hourly goals and work your way up until you finish them all.
Just be realistic. Try to start off with some easy goals that you know you can accomplish and then start adding more challenging goals that may take more time. The more you do this, the better you will get.
And if it gets too tough, do not be too hard on yourself. Instead, break those goals out in to smaller, more manageable chunks. Realize what your limitations are and do not be afraid to ask for help or support.
Above all, goal setting is important and an effective way to measure your productivity and can show others how effective you can be when working remote.
Last but certainly not least, be safe and healthy. Make sure the work environment you are at is a safe place for you to be able to get your work done. Also make sure that you are mentally prepared to work for the day.
If you feel sick, try to get some more rest or take a personal day away from work.
Your health should always be the priority.
Again, realize what your limitations are and do not overexert yourself. Give yourself time to take a break, get some fresh air, stay hydrated, and know when to separate work from the rest of your life.
From the entirely remote based team here at Hire Equal, stay productive, safe, and healthy!
Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list so you don’t miss out on any of our tips to help you in your job search.